March visitors at Ponca State Park can experience spectacular bird-viewing opportunities and related activities during the spring migratory celebration of Marsh Madness.
The public is invited to witness the migration during guided tours with members of the Loess Hills Audubon Society on March 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17. Visitors will view the brilliant spring plumage and courtship displays of geese, ducks, bald eagles and other raptors following the northern migration. A variety of resident wintering nuthatches, woodpeckers, cardinals, finches and sparrow also can be seen at the park’s bird feeders.
The park comprises 2,400 acres and sits astride the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR), a significant flyway that serves as the feeding, breeding and staging grounds for migratory birds. The park is listed by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, with nearly 300 bird species having been reported. More than 70 of those species breed in the area.
Special educational bird programs will be offered each Saturday at the park’s Resource and Education Center. Field guides and binoculars will be available. Park staff will provide regular updates on the status of bird migrations in the park at twitter.com/PoncaStatePark and facebook.com/PoncaSP.
Bird feeders also are located at each mini-lodge, which are available at a 30-percent discount. A park entry permit is required. For more information, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov or call 402-755-2284.
Logo courtesy Nebraska Games & Parks Commission